Rosacea from perfumes and cosmetics

assorted perfume bottles

This paper describes the case of a hairdresser that had bad allergic reactions to frangrances and chemicals encountered each day in her work environment. She presented to her doctor with rosacea like papules and pustules. Her treatment with Metrogrel, Soolantra and antibiotics was not successful. The symptoms were only resolved when exposure to the chemicals were reduced  and treatment with Elidel (pimecrolimus) was commenced.

Read on for more details of how a difficult case of rosacea along with contact dermatitis was finally relieved.

The patient had had flareups that were related to the use of her own cosmetics as well as from the cosmetics that were in use in the hair salon. As well as experiencing severe contact dermatitis, she also experienced migraine like headaches when returning to the salon.

Unable to Work from Rosacea

Six months off work and avoiding cosmetics was only enough to bring her gentle relief, the symptoms returned when exposed again.

Not being to work because of your rosacea is an unfortunate occurence for some sufferers. Perhaps you have some tips that you can share with your fellow rosacea sufferers on how you cope with Rosacea at Work?

Article Abstract

Contact allergy from fragrances and formaldehyde contributing to papulopustular
rosacea

Darrigade AS, Dendooven E, Aerts O.

Contact Dermatitis. 2019 Jun 25

Allergic contact dermatitis caused by fragrances and formaldehyde is common, but
pustular dermatitis as a manifestation of contact allergy is rare. We report a case of
therapy-resistant rosacea for which (occupational) contact allergy to fragrances, and to a lesser extent formaldehyde, was identified as an aggravating factor.

A 50-year-old non-atopic female hairdresser began to suffer from an erythematous and pustular dermatitis on the cheeks, forehead and chin.

Diagnosed with papulopustular rosacea she had been treated with topical metronidazole and ivermectin, as well as with systemic tetracyclines, without any relief.

The patient herself had related episodic flareups of the dermatitis to her own cosmetics, but also to airborne exposure to cosmetics used at the hair salon.

Therefore she had strongly restricted her own use of these and had been off work for 6 months, leading to a significant amelioration, but no complete resolution.

Beside a relapse of dermatitis, she mentioned the occurrence of migraine-like headache and general discomfort whenever she re-entered the hair salon, or whenever she came in contact with heavily scented customers.

As the avoidance of workrelated exposure is extremely difficult, a change of profession is considered. Given the partially eczematous morphology of the dermatitis, topical treatment with pimecrolimus twice daily was initiated. This achieved resolution of her skin condition, except for residual erythema.

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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2 Reader Comments

  1. Julie says:

    I’m allergic to fragrance. If you have not had an allergy test to test whether you are allergic to products or other chemicals, you should maybe have your dermatologist test you for theses allergies. I was diagnosed with rosacea, tried all kinds of treatments, doxycycline, different creams, etc. I kept noticing that I would break out with no rhyme or reason. I kept thinking to myself it is like I’m allergic to something. So I went on a mission to try to figure out what was causing my “triggers” of Rosacea. I did food and outside allergy test. I stopped dairy, nuts, etc. Nothing food wise helped. So finally I did the testing for allergic to products. Amazingly found out I was allergic to fragrance. Fragrance is in everything. The first change I made was mascara I was almost out and got a fragrance free mascara. Miracle my eyes were not watery or irritated or inflamed. Changed laundry detergents, all cosmetics, etc that are fragrance free. No symptoms of rosacea. I’m not sure I ever had rosacea but maybe “chemically rosacea”. Maybe this will help someone.

  2. Jennifer Wallace says:

    Well… I first developed rosacea when I started having horrible night sweats with menopause at 48 yrs old…. and I was devastated when I looked online to see what my future looked like. I hope what I have done can help someone out there…. I am now 53. Julie, u r so right STAY AWAY FROM ANYTHING THAT CONTAINS FRAGRANCE!!!!!
    Yes, u need to change yr skin care/cosmetics. No drugs!
    So, thru trial and error.
    Firstly, I only cleanse my face with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and water.
    Then at night I use Zenmed rosacea serum…. this is the best. I have to order it online as I live in Australia.
    It gets rid of the thick, scaly layer. Well it has for me.
    Then I also buy my moisturiser thru Zenmed. Yes these 2 products do cost more than what I used to pay but omg the difference is definitely worth it. It’s not so much the cost of the products but the postage costs so order what u need at the same time. Eg maybe 1 of each to see if it works for u.
    Avt moisturiser from Zenmed is the best….. so I cleanse with the Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser in the morning then apply the avt moisturiser. Then at night cleanse again with the Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser and water then dry yr face and put a layer of the Zenmed serum over yr skin and leave overnight…. also if yr looking for a rosacea friendly sunscreen I recommend cetaphil uva/uvb defence spf 50+.
    I hope my journey thus far can help someone because when my normally nice skin turned thick, scaly and angry I was so upset…. Jen x

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